Tightening Budgets, Layoffs and Ongoing Labor Negotiations Highlight the Value of Retiree Health Reimbursement Arrangements

By Jeff Chang

Given the current circumstances, many public agencies are finding ways to use health reimbursement arrangements as creative and cost-effective benefits for their employees and former employees. As explained in earlier posts, HRAs possess a number of important and valuable features. Continue reading

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Public Agency Retirement Plan Documents: Are They Properly Signed and Dated?

By Jeff Chang

Based on numerous requests for plan documents from public agency clients, we know that many cannot find complete sets of their historical and current retirement plan documents that are properly authorized, signed and dated. If this sounds like you, here’s what you need to know. Continue reading

Posted in 401(a), 457(b) Plans, Governmental plans, Plan Administration, Plan Qualification, record-keeping | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Public Agency Retirement Plan Documents: Are They Properly Signed and Dated?

CARES Act Authorizes Limited Employer Repayment of Student Loans

By Jeff Chang

Public agency employers trying to recruit or retain highly skilled or highly paid younger workers (e.g., doctors, nurses, IT specialists, engineers) may want to take advantage of a limited employer-paid benefit under the CARES Act. This limited-time benefit, which is only available during 2020, can be a win-win for employers and employees because it is not taxable to the employee and it is not counted for payroll tax purposes for public agencies that do not contribute to Social Security.

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COVID-19 Pandemic May Force Some Cities to Reset Employee Benefits

By Jeff Chang

As the harsh realities of the coronavirus pandemic, along with its widespread impact on all aspects of daily life, continue to shock and numb us all, many cities have already been identified as “high risk” from a financial stability perspective by the California State Auditor. These employers, along with the hundreds of other public agencies facing severe downturns in revenue — while also facing unprecedented and unusual demands for public services — will be forced to examine all options for decreasing expenses and limiting liabilities. Continue reading

Posted in 401(a), 457(b) Plans, Collective Bargaining, Governmental plans, Plan Fees, Retiree Health | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on COVID-19 Pandemic May Force Some Cities to Reset Employee Benefits

Public Agency Furloughs & Distributions from Retirement Plans During COVID-19

By Jeff Chang

As many California public agencies are forced to furlough employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, questions arise as to how furloughs are treated for retirement plan distribution rules’ purposes. Continue reading

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